Home » 10 years after Flint’s lead water crisis began, a lack of urgency stalls ‘proper justice’

10 years after Flint’s lead water crisis began, a lack of urgency stalls ‘proper justice’

by NBC News

Tapping from the Flint River was meant to be an interim source until Flint could join a new system accessing water from Lake Huron.“It’s a historic moment for the city of Flint to return to its roots and use our own river as our drinking water supply,” Walling said at the ceremony, marking the switch with the press of a black button.

But in the following weeks, residents complained that the water tasted “weird,” with a murky, foamy appearance as it flowed from the tap.

While the mayor insisted residents who were concerned about the water quality were wasting their money buying bottled water, a boil advisory was eventually issued after the water tested positive for E.coli bacteria. Residents began to protest. The city continued to claim the water was safe, even as a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency manager told the state that the chemistry of the Flint River allowed for contaminants from pipes, including lead, to leach into the water system.

Flint residents hold a bottle full of contaminated water and a clump of hair on Capitol Hill in 2016.Mark Wilson / Getty Images file

In the summer of 2015, Virginia Tech researchers found samples of Flint water had abnormally high lead levels. Exposure to lead can be harmful to children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, potentially causing slowed growth and development, behavioral problems, and brain and nervous system damage.The fallout in Flint included a federal government investigation, the resignation of then-Gov. Rick Snyder’s environmental chief and the city’s return to using Detroit water. Meanwhile, amid the crisis, Flint also grappled with a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak that led to a dozen deaths and scrutiny over whether the severe form of bacterial pneumonia was connected with the city’s water supply. (A 2019 study prompted by the state of Michigan found the outbreak may be associated with the Flint water emergency but that, regardless, there was an ineffective…

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